In an adult subject, Mallet Finger is a situation of a finger's disfigurement caused by damage to the tendon system which straightens the finger, preventing active straightening of the last joint in the affected finger.

Mallet finger is common among athletes and it mainly appears after a direct trauma to the finger due to a fall, as well as injuries in basketball and volleyball.

The causes of Mallet Finger

Mallet finger may also be caused by invasive injury damaging the continuity of the straightening tendon of the affected joint or by a fracture in the bone around the tendon's connection with it.

Characteristics of Mallet Finger

The characteristics of mallet finger are pain and swelling around a distal joint of the affected finger, a disfigurement of the joint's bending without the ability to actively straighten the distal part of the finger.

Diagnosing Mallet Finger

It is highly important to be checked by a hand surgeon in order to assess the injury's severity.

In observation - a typical appearance of bending without the ability to straighten a distal joint of the affected finger (the appearance of a wooden mallet). Internal bleeding around or under the finger nail shows the power of the impact and arouses suspicion for a fracture of torn tendon.

X-Ray Radiography - in case of a fracture on the dorsal side of the bone's base, at the connection area of the straightening tendon, the fracture's size and influence on the joint's stability is checked. If no fracture exists, this arouses suspicion for a tear in the straightening system.

Treatment options for Mallet Finger

Planning the treatment follows a clinical examination of the finger and X-Ray Radiography. In case there is no fracture and no external injury of the skin 0 the recommended treatment is conservative and amounts to wearing a splint straightening the distal joint of the affected finger and allowing the use of the rest of that finger's joints. The splint has to be worn continually without removal for approximately two months, after which there is need for physical therapy for recovering the finger's movement ranges.


In case a fracture is diagnosed, its size is assessed as well as the existence of damage to the joint's stability. If the fracture is large and if it damaged the stability - surgery is recommended. During this surgical operation, two pins are inserted through the skin (without cutting the skin open) allowing for the joint's stabilization until the fracture heals, at which point they are removed.


In case of a fracture without risk of damage to the joint's stability it is possible to treat it using a splint as described above. In this case the splint has to be set for 4-6 weeks and follow-up uses X-Ray Radiography.

Mallet Finger

Dr. Alon Covo e e e

"Shiba" Medical Center Tel HashomerHand surgery department

Ramat GanShai Medical Center– Private Medical Service Tel Hashomer, 4th Gildsgaim St.

Kfar Saba: Eli Horowitz 12.

Postal AddressDr. Alon Covo, 10th HaGanim St.

P.O. Box 3824 Hod Hasharon 4522174.


Appointments and messages054-7232194

מרכז רפואי "שיבא" תל השומר: המחלקה לכירורגיה של היד

מרפאת רמת גן: מרכז רפואי שי- שר"פ תל השומר, רחוב גילדסגיים 4.

מרפאת כפר סבא: מדיקל השרון- רחוב אלי הורביץ 12.

כתובת למשלוח דואר: ד"ר אלון קובו, רחוב הגנים 10 ת.ד. 3824,

הוד השרון, 4522174


טלפון לזימון תורים והשארת הודעות: 054-7232194

המידע, העצות והתרגילים באתר הינם כללים וחלקיים בלבד ואינם באים להחליף יעוץ אישי מקצועי של רופא.

ד"ר קובו אינו אחראי לנזק שיגרם עקב הסתמכות על מידע זה, ולהתאמת או אי התאמת המידע, העצות והטיפולים לכל מטופל. המידע, העצות והתרגילים אינם מהווים תחליף או תוספת לפרוטוקול הרפואי.

המידע המובא באתר הינו כללי ומשותף לכלל הגולשים ולא חלה עליו סודיות מידע. בכל מקרה של סיבוך באזור הכאב או ספק או שאלה לגבי המידע שניתן באתר, יש לפנות מיד לרופא המטפל.

The information, advice and practices given in this web page are general and partial only and do not seek to replace professional personal advice given by a physician.

Dr. Covo bears no responsibility to any damage caused based on this information or to the degree in which the information, advice and treatment fit each and every patient. The information, advice and practices do not come as replacement or addition to the medical protocol. The information given in this site is general and common to all visitors and is not subject to confidentiality

In any case of complication in the area of the pain, of doubt or question about the information given in this web page, it is important to contact the treating physician immediately.